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The Republic by Plato - Barron's Booknotes
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1. What are the similarities and differences of justice in the individual and justice in the state. Be certain to discuss the differences between politics and psychology.

2. In Book I Socrates tells Polemarchus that justice cannot be anything that is injurious to the soul. What does this argument tell you about Socrates' notion on punishment? What is the difference between justice and punishment?

3. What does Socrates mean by "happiness"? Why does he distinguish happiness in the individual from happiness in the state?

4. According to Socrates, what is a philosopher? Does Plato's description of the character and role of a philosopher differ from today's?

5. Discuss the benefits and disadvantages of each class in the just society. What do you think of a "class society"?

6. Should philosophers be kings? Discuss Socrates' view on this issue and agree or disagree with him.

7. Discuss Plato's view of the significance and place of wealth in society.

8. Why should people be just? There are obvious advantages to a government for people to be just, but what are the advantages to the individual?

9. List the ways in which potential scholars are corrupted by society and, as a result, turn away from philosophy. Provide several other ways in which students can be seduced away from their studies.

10. Summarize Plato's reasons for censoring certain poetry and other art works. Do you think his reasons are valid?

11. What do you think of Plato's treatment of the problem of the equality of women?

12. What does Socrates mean by "true pleasure"? How does it differ from other types of pleasure? How does one acquire true pleasure?

13. Plato believes that knowledge for its own sake is enough justification for devoting one's life to studying and learning. Agree or disagree.

14. Discuss the relationship between the Divided Line and the Allegory of the Cave.

15. Does art imitate life or does life imitate art? Is The Republic a work of art or of science or of something else?

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The Republic by Plato - Barron's Booknotes

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